Air crash kills couple, leaves their daughter orphan

Air crash kills couple, leaves their daughter orphan

Viona lived with her grand parents at Padil in Mangalore as her parents could not afford to obtain a visa for her due to their low income. Naveen Fernandes (36) was working for Spinneys supermarket while his wife Saritha D’Souza (24) was working for Dubai Mall.

The couple were living with Naveen’s brother, sister and brother-in-law. As the Dubai rules do not permit family members, unless they are in high income group, the couple could not take their daughter — who grew up with Naveen’s mother back at home in Mangalore.

Finally, when Naveen succeeded in getting a job in a new company (Alokozay, a tea company), he was happy as his new job would entitle him to take his daughter. As soon as he found a new job, he came to Mangalore in the ill-fated flight so that he could go back with new visa. But fate had its own way.

“I dropped my brother and sister-in-law at Dubai airport on Friday night and returned home. Saritha’s brother was supposed to pick them at Mangalore airport on Saturday morning,” said Merwin, Naveen’s brother, who too works in Dubai.

“As I was waiting for my sister and brother-in-law, I saw the aircraft landing which was followed by fire brigades and ambulances. We heard a loud noise, but we were told by others that it was a tyre burst. We realised the air crash much later when TV channels started airing the news,” said Saritha’s brother.

The couple’s daughter was staying with Naveen’s parents James Fernandes, an auto driver and Leena Fernandes, a housewife. Both the parents of Naveen and Saritha were inconsolable as they lost their son and daughter. A large number of people gathered for the funeral service at Holy Cross Church at Cordel in Kulshekar. The bodies of both Naveen and Saritha were closed in coffin with a small opening near their faces and a large number of people thronged to have a glimpse at them.

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